This project will work with the MPCA to conduct watershed pollutant load monitoring at four sites in the Chippewa River watershed and one site in the neighboring Pomme de Terre River watershed . The Chippewa River Watershed Project (CRWP) team will also aid the MPCA in measuring and comparing regional differences and long-term trends in water quality. The goal is to collect quality data and complete load calculations for the five sites using the MPCA's established protocols.
This project is a continuation of Statewide Lake study that revealed the obiquitous presence of endrocrine active compounds (EACs) in many MN Lakes. The initial project findings suggested two potential knowledge gaps in our understanding of EACs and their effects in lake environments. First, the sources of EACs and their entrance points into lakes need to be better defined than was possible in our previous statewide lake study.
This project will promulgate a nitrate water quality standard to address aquatic life toxicity, and gather information needed to support the development of total nitrogen (N) loading reduction strategies for Minnesota’s waters and also address Minnesota’s contribution to marine water hypoxia. Project will also develop a framework for a watershed nitrogen planning aid that can be used to optimize selection of Best Management Practice (BMP) systems for reducing nitrogen.
This project will develop a watershed approach plan, including impaired waters allocations, for the Mustinka Watershed, located at the headwaters of the Red River of the North, in western Minnesota, lying partly in Grant, Stevens, Ottertail, Big Stone, and Traverse counties. The watershed approach plan will set water quality goals for the watershed, recommend allocations for achieving total maximum daily loads where waters do not meet state standards and are listed as impaired.
This project will complete a comprehensive and sustainable Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report for the Chippewa River, its tributary streams, and the many lakes in the Chippewa River watershed that is understandable and adoptable by local units of government and residents.
The goal of this project is to develop a core team of wastewater professionals and academics engaged in understanding and solving wastewater-related problems in Minnesota, with national relevance. The team will promote the use of new technology, designs and practices to address existing and emerging wastewater treatement challenges, including the treatement of wastewater for reuse and the emergence of new and unregulated contaminants.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
This project will improve our understanding of the sources of sediment (turbidity), and the processes which deliver sediment to river channels. This project will address a suite of emerging questions regarding contributions and causes of non-field sediment, thereby providing watershed managers with a better understanding of how to manage these sediment sources.
The Center for Changing Landscapes was directed by the Minnesota State Legislature to create a long-range framework for an integrated statewide parks and trails system that provides information on the natural resource-based recreational opportunities available throughout the state. The detailed framework must include an inventory of existing regionally and statewide significant parks and trails, respond to recreational trends and demographic changes, and identify underserved areas, overused facilities, and gaps in the current parks and trails system (Minn. Gen. Laws 64.8 § 6).
This project will assess the exposure and effects of WWTP effluent on a model vertebrae organism, the fathead minnow. Through a series of controlled experiments, to be conducted on-site of the WWTP utilizing the Mobile Exposure Laboratory Trailer (MELT),SCSU will address (1) onset and timing of acute exposure effects, (2) downstream exposure effects, and (3) reproductive consequences of exposure for male and female fathead minnows. MPCA EAO staff will provide technical assistance and oversight of the project.
Certain stretches of the Pomme de Terre River have been identified as impaired. This project will quantify the reductions in pollutant loading that would be necessary to bring water quality in the impaired stretches to an acceptable level. It will also identify strategies that would improve water quality in these impaired stretches. Some funds will support public input activities into the Pomme de Terre River watershed management plan.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
International Water Institute (IWI) staff will monitor 24 sites in the Bois de Sioux, Mustinka (2 sites), Buffalo (8 sites), Red Lake (4 sites), Sandhill (3 sites), Thief (2 sites), and Tamarac River (3 sites) Watersheds intensively over a 2 year period in an attempt to collect 25 samples per year at each site. If conditions allow for the collection of all planned samples, 1200 stream samples will be collected over the time period. Monitoring will include field measurements, observations, and at least three photographs during each site visit.
MN Legislative Clean Water Fund funding to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data all for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
This project will apply science to identify viable and priority wetland restorations and rehabilitations that will deliver sustainable water quality benefit, along with flood storage and habitat benefits. Decision tools will be developed to assist with selection of restoration projects.
Project outcomes include results from hydroponics experiments, which will likely consist of information on the response of wild rice growth to a range of concentrations of sulfate, sulfide, and various cations. Results from these experiments will be used to help determine what additional research is needed in 2013. The MPCA will use this data to evaluate the current sulfate standard and the need, if any, for modifications to it.
Project outcomes include data that will ultimately allow the MPCA to quantitatively compare the environmental conditions (surface water and sedimentary geochemistry) at sites that successfully support wild rice growth to sites that do not support wild rice. These data, in particular the analysis of the porewater samples obtained under this project, will be compared to the results from a separate project that will assess the growth of wild rice using hydroponic methods.
This project will provide lab analyses and interpretation required for 2012 wild rice field survey. The 2012 lab analyses will be merged with the 2011 field survey data and determine what additional work, if any, is needed during the 2013 field season.
The MPCA is undertaking a study to investigate the potential effects of elevated sulfate on the growth of wild rice. One high-priority hypothesis is that the conversion of sulfate to sulfide in anoxic subsurface sediment may harm the roots of wild rice, either directly, or indirectly. The goal of this project is To observe and develop an understanding of exposure of wild rice roots to changes in concentration of sulfide and related chemicals over time and space (depth of sediment and distance from roots).
The MPCA is currently collecting additional information needed to evaluate the 10 mg/liter wild-rice-based sulfate standard and has received funding through legislation passed during the 2011 Special Session to implement a wild rice research plan and contract with scientific experts to further understand the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. The goal of this project is to determine responses of wild rice to sulfate and the products of geochemical transformations of sulfate.